We set off on one of our quests yesterday. To renew my Senior railcard to be exact. Well that was my reason but as it turned out, an Angry Whopper meal figured largely in K’s quest. As is usual for us two intrepid adventurers, rather than simply go to the nearest train station to carry out this task, we made a meal of it and toured West Yorkshire. Well maybe not quite the whole of West Yorkshire but a huge big two cities and a town part of it.
Setting off from our nearest bus stop, we began our quest via bus to Bradford. We have to keep visiting Bradford often simply because if we don’t go regularly we’ll end up not recognising it. Buildings going up here, roads being dug up, buildings being demolished there, its a City always in flux, constantly changing and evolving and every other person you walk past wears a hard hat, a yellow tunic and carry’s a pick axe.
There was a memorial of flowers placed in the square outside the town hall to remember all those killed in the Bradford City Football Stadium fire disaster on the 11th May.
We made our way to Forster Square Railway station with
Samwise Gamgee K marching merrily in front for once, where I promptly renewed my Senior Railcard which was of course the object of today’s quest. Well my part of the quest at any rate. Sane people anyone else would have turned around and simply set off back home at this point, but as we don’t conform to normal, we bought some tickets and jumped on the Leeds train instead complete with a bag of sweets each to munch on the journey there.
It’s a pity (I always think with this particular journey) that just as you leave Shipley and begin to run through some of the loveliest countryside on this particular run, the blasted train driver puts his foot down (or whatever engine drivers do on these electric trains) and all you see is a blur at 100 miles an hour. I keep wanting to pay a visit to a fantastic looking old Abbey that we always zoom past. It looks fascinating. According to my ex its Kirkstall Abbey near Leeds, but whether I will ever fulfil my wish and pay it a visit instead of always seeing it out of a train window, is an entirely different kettle of fish.
Arriving at Leeds station we had a toilet break, then went through the ticket gates. If the idea behind their introduction was to save man power, they haven’t succeeded because it needs just as many staff (if not more) to aid travellers to negotiate their way through them. Most weren’t working for a start, then K nearly got stuck going through hers. (that blasted backpack she insists on bringing everywhere we go!)
Into the Travel Office to book my tickets for my trip up to Scotland in June. The lady serving me had had all her hair shaved off for some charity or other, and K admired it enviously. Mind you, it did suit her. I will be going up via the Leeds/Carlisle route, through the Yorkshire Dales. Then onward to the external ticket office for two tickets to Huddersfield. We couldn’t resist stopping to admire the Pick and Mix stall someone had set up on the concourse and were very nearly tempted to buy a bag of huge flumps that caught our eye.
Resisting temptation, we tore ourselves away and braved the ticket gates again. Hmm, as always the train we needed was leaving from the furthest platform away over on the other side. Up the escalator, pause to take some shots with my camera of the lines outside the window and the lines inside the station then across to platform 16.
Train stations fascinate me. I could gladly sit there all day watching people coming and going, rushing here and there, running at the last minute down the steps or along the platforms, dragging trolleys, passing each other maybe to never pass each other again ever in their lifetime. Where are they going? Where have they been? Are they arriving or departing? Work or holiday? Or on some sort of quest like us? It would be fascinating to set up one of those timed cameras as people rushed by to capture it all.
As we were stood waiting for the Huddersfield train, we had to laugh as just as the York train had shut its doors ready to set off when about five or six teenagers came hurtling down the escalator yelling at the tops of their voices to the train guard to wait. They managed to catch the train. Ah! so J is not the only one who waits till the last minute then, and spends half his life making a mad dash down platforms or down roads for buses, nearly missing everything there is to possibly nearly miss!
Next stop Huddersfield where the recent construction work going on in front of the railway station has turned out to be somebody’s brilliant idea of having six water fountains placed there squirting water into the air. I can see running through those being a fun pastime for children and inebriated grown ups. What puzzled me was the water from them is not channelled away to be reused but wastefully runs down the square. At the bottom of the square is yet another water feature, this one resembling a waterfall. If we have a hot summer and water ends up being in short supply, these features will go down well won’t they? Who the heck comes up with ideas like this?
Had some dinner in that favourite haunt of K, Burger King. (actually, any eatery is a favourite haunt of K.) In fact, apparently that was the reason for the round trip on all these trains, because there is no Burger King in Bradford, the one in Leeds station has nowhere for you to sit down, so our ‘round’ the towns and cities of Yorkshire was purely for an Angry Whopper meal!
TG (more pics of our quest over on the right hand sidebar as always.)